Treating Loose Stools with Homeopathy
None of us is stranger to the condition that is an upset stomach, and time and again we find ourselves at a state where our stomach simply rebels against what it is being fed. It is fairly common to develop loose stools. To put the condition in perspective, childhood diarrhoea is one of the leading causes of infant malnutrition as well as mortality in India. Not only do persistent watery stools cause debility and exhaustion, they also deplete the body’s salt and electrolytes reserves so that an acute crisis of electrolyte balance may result. Indeed, the condition sends a significant amount of people to the hospital every day, and in many cases, hospitalization needs to be done to facilitate recovery. It is therefore safe to say that the problem needs attention and caution.
Causes of diarrhoea are many. The most common is an infection. In India, common gastric infections are usually bacterial or parasitic. Conditions like cholera and amoebic dysentery need to be mentioned here. A variety of stomach infections may be acquired from intake of unhygienic and infected food and water. Viral infections are also responsible for an upset stomach. However, non-infectious causes also play a role. Certain food allergies may cause diarrhoea. Lactose intolerance is also a major factor wherein a person is unable to digest and assimilate dairy and milk products. This condition is quite common. Sometimes a person may simply be unable to digest a certain type of meal, fruit or vegetable and diarrhoea may result. Such conditions are often seen in daily life. Some medications may cause an adverse reaction and lead to loose stools. Intestinal diseases may also manifest as watery stools. Generally, acute cases are due to infectious causes while chronic problems require a more thorough case history and diagnostic evaluation.
The symptoms of diarrhoea are well-known to us. Loose watery stools are the hallmark; however, the stools may be in semi-solid form or even in lumps. Blood may also be present and this condition is called dysentery. Abdominal cramps may also occur and these may be moderate to severe, occurring before, during and even hours after stool. Burning may occur in the anal region due to excoriation of the skin and mucous membranes. Infections also cause systemic disturbances such as fever, chilliness, weakness, malaise and lethargy. Prolonged diarrhoea may lead to weight loss, naturally. General abdominal pain, bloating, heaviness and uneasiness may all be present in different levels of intensity.
Diarrhoea is a symptom, not a diagnosis. If a person turns up with loose stools it is necessary to evaluate why the condition may have happened. Acute cases are generally due to infections and in most cases a history of eating questionable food can be established. For more chronic cases possible causes need to be explored so that a reliable diagnosis can be made. Dietary management is obviously important too. Generally, a stool exam with culture is done to establish the infective organisms and treat accordingly. An abdominal ultrasound may also be needed. To rule out intestinal disease a colonoscopy is also required. Blood profile also gives an idea about the presence of an infection.
For the purpose of diarrhoea treatment medicine must be started as soon as the symptoms appear so that major loss of fluids is prevented. For watery diarrhoea treatment should be supplemented with large quantity of fluids so as to replenish the loss of water and electrolytes. One of the most useful and practical methods to tackle this fluid loss is the administration of ORS. ORS, or Oral Rehydration Solution, is recommended by the WHO to replenish water and electrolyte losses in a patient, particularly by diarrhoea. It can be easily prepared at home and helps to replenish the depleted water and electrolyte levels in the blood. Even though readymade packages are now available at all medical stores, the solution can also be prepared in a simple form at home as an instant first aid tool. In one liter of clean or boiled water, six level teaspoons of sugar and half level teaspoon of salt should be dissolved. This makes a liter of fluid that helps to tackle the dehydrated state of the body. This can be sipped at short intervals and is very beneficial for persons suffering from watery diarrhoea or frequent vomiting.
Medicinal management has its own role to play in dealing with diarrhoea. It should be remembered that medicine for diarrhoea in adults may be different from that in children, and the most suitable remedy would depend upon the totality of symptoms. Homoeopathic medicine for diarrhoea helps not only to stop the condition but also to treat the underlying infection that may be causing the watery stools.
The best medicine for diarrhoea in India is undoubtedly manufactured by Schwabe India. Natrium Muriaticum is an excellent medicine to stop diarrhoea in acute as well as chronic cases. Infectious as well as non-infectious causes are well covered by this medicine. As a constitutional remedy Natrium Muriaticum helps in curing intestinal diseases, food intolerances, weak digestion and other gastric troubles also. It is also administered as a tissue remedy in the form of tablets and in this form it is highly beneficial in replenishing the loss of salts and electrolytes in the body. This way, it helps counter dehydration. Other homoeopathic remedies like Arsenic album, Croton tig, Aloes, China, Podophyllum, etc. have their own role in managing watery stools. The choice of remedy depends upon the symptoms that have manifested in the person. Therefore, it is prudent to take homoeopathic medicine after consultation with a homoeopathic physician, in the dosage prescribed. This helps in achieving the best results and a prompt recovery.